Simmons in icy exchange with Philly reporter
Ben Simmons has faced the most direct questioning about his lack of a jumpshot during exit interviews in Philadelphia.
After Monday's shattering Game 7 defeat against the Raptors in Toronto, the 76ers convened at their homebase to face questions from the local media.
Local reporter Howard Eskin took the opportunity to place the lack of growth in the Australian point guard's willingness to take and make perimeter shots on the agenda.
Eskin's persistence led to an icy exchange with Simmons, who did not appear happy with the line of questioning.
Eskin: To take your game forward, how much do you think taking more shots from the perimeter is important to improving your game?
Simmons: It's important. It's very important.
Eskin: How are you going to work on it?
Eskin: OK, has that happened this year? It doesn't … you took five shots last night. Do you think in this situation, with this team, and who you are you need more than five shots and some of them need to be from the perimeter?
Eskin: How are you going to do that?
Simmons: How am I going to do what?
Eskin: Shoot more from the perimeter. Brett Brown said during the season 'Ben take more shots'. And I think you took one after he said it, I think you took a three. And you didn't make any big deal of it, you just said you did it.
Simmons: I think he was just making a point of emphasis in terms of just being more aggressive. I don't think it's just taking shots just to take them … I don't think it's any certain shot.
The dissection of the 76ers' season and their squad is in full swing with coach Brett Brown and free agents Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and JJ Redick facing uncertain futures.
But franchise cornerstone Joel Embiid is backing Simmons to ride out the storm and take his game to another level.
"We have a lot to work on - me (and) him)," Embiid said. "I'm excited about all the work I'm going to put in this summer and he should be too. He has a lot of potential. He can do so much more and be right there. I'm going to support him through everything. That's my brother."
Back-up centre Amir Johnson is confident Embiid and Simmons will lead the 76ers to the promised land.
"You just got to take your hat off to those two every year. In the years I've been here they've gotten better and better and the sky's the limit for those guys," he said. "They work super hard and I definitely believe they'll go get a championship if those two stick together."